Album Review: MALICE MACHINE - Chemical Violence


EBM still lives on strong with bands like MALICE MACHINE showcasing the inspirations of long running bands in to their own music production. If you're a fan of the grittier, haze inducing EBM of yester-year, then you'll be very pleased with the new life this band breathes in to industrial.

 

Originally hailing from NYC, MALICE MACHINE is a collaboration of two dark souls, Syn and Ammo. Their sound emanates in a cybernetic assembly of Industrial synths, seething noise, methodical drums, razored guitar, and edge riding vocals.


Utilizing their musical methods of programming with organic musicianship, MALICEMACHINE crafts their songs in a menacing mesh of analogue and digital waves.


For fans of: FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, KMFDM & :WUMPSCUT:


The lyrics on Chemical Violence express some of the the darker sides of our nature. cold landscapes combined with twisted and tortured concepts of what reality is or what the human experience can be for some of us.. It's not always a pleasant journey. The one thing that is certain. This sick machine will grind down all of us eventually.


Chemical Violence started as a continuation of our first album, Digital Scars, but quickly evolved into a more electronic driven, rhythmic Industrial project with guitar being a lesser element. There are several dance heavy tracks but we also return to brooding flavours to satisfy our darker nature. Lyrically we drift between cyber and horror themes but they're really just underlying metaphors of how the world can be a hostile place, ready to grind you down if you let it.


This album covers a lot of industrial territory. We don't want to be pigeonholed into one sub-genre so all the songs have their own

flavour. Retro and post style, Electronic, driven guitar, grinding

Noisecore and Aggrotech elements, Synth bass, Drum dominant. We're open minded and love a lot of industrial styles which will show on this album.


All songs are written by Syn and Ammo and recorded and mastered by Syn at our studio. Prototype, Restrict, and Dead Circuit were co-produced and mixed with John Bechdel from Ministry. We met John back in 2019 since we were practically neighbours and ran in a lot of local circles.


We started working on a 6 song EP with the help of John mixing and producing in his studio. But then covid hit, along with lockdowns and an endless series of delays. We were held up for over a year. By the time we went to release the EP, we had more material ready to go so we decided to do a full album. In the last three months we wound up writing, recording, mixing and mastering 7 more songs. We then added Winter's Dark as a bonus track to give it more exposure. It was originally released on a compilation for Brutal Resonance Magazine and we consider it to be the start of our current writing style.

 

Review


If a band's industrial music instantly puts you in the mind frame of toxic wastelands and needless violence, well... You know it's some good old school inspired stuff and this album provides that in abundance. When you mix up the soundtracks of 80s/90s media from the likes of Robocop to Hardware, and Command and Conquer to Resident Evil, the guitars, growling lyrics, and classic electronics makes for a satisfying mix of all things EBM.


So it is that 'PROTOTYPE' and 'RESTRICT' open up the album in that familiar and chaotic synthetic chaos that we all know and love so well. MALICE MACHINE have certainly amalgamated a lot of inspiration in to their work and it brings a real smile to the listeners' face.


It's proven to be quite hard to write about individual tracks with Chemical Violence as each song flows in and out of each other without much variation but that is not a bad thing for once, in fact it's quite an interesting immersion into the imagination. Much like an audio book paints a movie in your head, so too does this album with it's seemingly constant yet fluid progression through the concept of sound on offer; Although I will say 'RUIN' did stand out for me with it's slightly more mellow and emotive sweeping sections.


Another track that sticks out above all others is (surprisingly) the second cover of Tubeway Army's 'Down in the Park' that I have reviewed this year. (That's the band Gary Numan was in before going solo) This cover is such a gritty and deep variation, with the guitar distortion creating a huge field of depth that the original lacked; It brings a sense of powerful determination and action with each verse.


Tracklist

Prototype

Restrict

Corpse Painter

Dead Circuit

Lament Box

Machine Hate

Nothing

Decay

Synthetic Slave

Ruin

Head

Technopagan

Winter's Dark

Down in the Park


Conclusion


This album feels like a fantastic tribute to all things industrial over the generations, like a passing of the torch to the bands of the present that MALICE MACHINE have gracefully accepted. Whether it be electronic beats or distorted guitars that you enjoy, MALICE MACHINE have struck a fine line between the two chaotic depths of these two yin and yang like structure of industrial sound.


Scores


Technicality: 8 /10

Dance factor: 6 /10

Energy: 6.5 /10

Vocals/Samples: 6 /10

Re-play value: 7 /10


Overall score: 6.7 / 10

 

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